Sweet Pete's Brick Works
Sweet Pete's Brick Works location opened just three weeks ago, their new digs annexed beside Bike Works in a refurbished building nestled within the revitalized heritage site. "It's a great spot. With close to 5,000 people swarming in for the Saturday Farmer's Market , we get all kinds of enthusiasts here. And it's perfect for off-roaders," says Chris Cousineau, general manager. The new shop joins establish locations in Bloordale and the Annex .
With the Don trails right at their backyard, it seems pretty obvious why this is the case. In fact, this location specializes in off-road bikes and features three popular brands (Trek, Giant, Kona). "At first, we got folks looking for regular road bikes. We do carry some hybrids and service all bikes, but we actually have a growing interest for the kids' balance bikes." Indeed, while weekend warriors can get their fill on nearby trails, I saw quite a few folks with kids coming in and checking out these uber cute, fat-tired wheelers.
"There are a lot of families coming through the Brick Works so we're definitely paying more attention to that," says Pete Lilly (the 'Pete' himself of Sweet Pete's). "It's an easier spot for parents to let their little ones try the bikes out. Kids riding on better quality bikes are more likely to enjoy the activity and stick with it." The shop also displays BKC leisure bikes, again, a calling card for the relaxed weekender to gear down and pedal at a slower clip.
Off-road bikes at this location start anywhere from the low thousands up to $4,000. Kids' balance bikes fall within the $140 to $200 range (Giant at $139, Trek at $169, and a cool wooden EarlyRider design at $199). You can also rent a bike for $10 an hour or $35 a day (hybrid) or $55 a day (mountain bike).
The shop is complete with brand name accessories including riding gear (Sugoi, Camelbak, Fox), bags (Arkel, Thule), footwear, helmets (Giro, Bern) and other key cycling paraphernalia. What's equally interesting about Sweet Pete's new location is their symbiotic relationship with Bike Works.
"The past few weeks both spaces have been hopping bus -- there are plenty of riders with varying skillsets and appetites for DIY... Again, mutual respect and a shared vision is the order of the day," says Pete. Customers now have a choice of getting a $60 tune up with Sweet Pete's or renting a stand for $10 an hour at Bike Works to do their own tinkering.
Though this location is seasonal and has more of a weekend groove, Pete tells me that there's still much to look forward to this summer. "We're coordinating with Brick Works right now on a bike festival which will happen towards the end of June... The move into Brick Works makes a ton of sense for us, and we're ridiculously excited by the opportunity and response so far."
Who the store caters to: Off-road riders, kids and families, leisurely weekenders, urban riders
Bike price range: Off-road/mountain bikes from $1200 - $4000; kids' balance bikes between $140 to $200; you can get a basic hybrid for about $475, but you're best to go to their Annex or Bloordale locations for better selection
Service options: Full service shop, comfortable with all repair requests regardless of bike, including a standard Tune up for $60 OR you can rent a stand at Bike Works for $10/hour to do your own work
Hours: Fri: 3:00pm - 8:00pm, Sat: 9:00am - 4:00pm, Sun: 10:00am - 4:00pm.
Writing by Autom Tagsa
Photos by Jesse Milns